About this Show

The War Room With Jennifer Granholm

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING
PG

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
528

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Washington 24, Colorado 9, Jennifer 8, Us 8, California 4, Renee 3, Sandy 3, Brett Ehrlich 3, Hershey 3, Jay Inslee 3, Pentagon 3, New York 3, Oakland 3, Forsythe 2, Wic 2, The Union 2, Tabor 2, Mimi Chakirova 2, Jennifer Granholm 2, Dr. Chilton 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  Current    The War Room With Jennifer Granholm    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 15, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm PST  

7:00pm
granholm. tonight in "the war room," let's put the petraeus scandal ond hold for a moment and focus on something that really matters. it is sort of like a climate change christmas carol. the ghosts of the environment appear before the g.o.p. to try to save its soul. past bp gets whacked with fines and criminal charges a warning about putting profit before prudent. present. president obama visits the areas of new york hit hardest by hurricane sandy, a reminder of global warming's devastating effects. future january 20, 2013, inauguration day. a president with a mandate and a second-term agenda with climate change near the very top. so all right you republicans who wants to play the role of scrooge? >> all of those in favor signify by saying aye.
7:01pm
>> jennifer: humbug. there is big news on the environmental frown front today. so first bp, the world's third largest oil company announced it was going to pay $4.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to 14 criminal charges connected to, of course, the giant oil spill in the gulf of mexico. that's number one. meanwhile, in new york, the president surveyed the damage from hurricane sandy. of course, which was everybody knows, precipitated by climate change. he met storm victims in staten island, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm. 23 of the 43 deaths in the new york region related to hurricane sandy. they were on staten island.
7:02pm
>> obama: during difficult times like this, we're reminded that we're bound together and we have to look out for each other and a lot of the things that seem important, the petty differences melt away and we focus on what binds us together and that we, as americans, are going to stand with each other in their hour of need. >> jennifer: in fact, there is new political coalitions emerging following the storm. leaders like governor andrew cuomo of new york, new york city mayor michael bloomberg have both called for federal action on climate change to deal with increasingly disastrous weather events. yesterday, the president weighed in as well saying that while he believes climate change is real and human made, he said taking action will require political will on both sides of the aisle. >> obama: i don't know the what what -- what either democrats or republicanss are prepared to do
7:03pm
at this point. there is no doubt for us to take on climate change in a serious way would involve making some tough political choices. >> jennifer: now in his first term, of course, the president did take steps to reduce harmful emissions including raising fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and providing capital to clean energy companies to get off the ground. he actually plans to meet with scientists and engineers and lawmakers in the next few weeks to discuss further steps that can be taken to reduce carbon emissions in the short term. but there won't be action at the federal level without the cooperation of congressional republicans and that is going to be a challenge to put it mildly. the entire house g.o.p. leadership team, john boehner eric cantor, kevin mccarthy and all of the rest, all of them signed a pledge opposing any climate legislation that raises tax revenue.
7:04pm
that so-called no climate tax pledge, that tax pledge is backed by the tea party group americans for prosperity and guess who funds americans for prosperity? yep, the billionaire koch brothers who made their fortune from oil pipelines and refineries. and who, of course, along with other oil and coal lobbying groups spent $270 million on ads attacking the president this election. here's the good news though. that pledge opposing any climate legislation that raises taxes probably won't have much of an impact because the president has not even proposed a carbon tax. so there may be still hope. if congressional republicans continue to drag their feet though we might see a lot more action on clean energy at the state level this term. joining me now to talk about
7:05pm
creating a clean energy agenda at the state level is washington state governor-elect, jay inslee. he ran on a platform of bringing clean energy and biotech jobs this to his state. he's joining us via skype from olympia, washington. governor-elect inslee, congratulations on your win and thank you so much for being here inside "the war room." >> thanks for the congratulations but congratulations to you because you were -- i was only the second most forceful advocate for clean energy in washington. you were the first when you came to help me get elected governor. thank you very much. >> jennifer: as you know i did it because i so believe in your leadership. and now you goat bring it to the state level. so i want to ask you that. how much do you think can be done at the state level to combat climate change and create clean energy jobs? >> well, i'm just a huge optimistic -- about the ability
7:06pm
of my state really leading the world in technological development and clean energy and i think it's just right in my state's wheel house. we've led technological revolutions and aerospace with boeing. we've led a revolution in software with microsoft and now we have the siege for a third technological revolution and a whole suite of clean energy and renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in my state. so i think it's exactly what my state was designed to do which is to marry a very strong environmental value system that we have in the state where the -- we're the evergreen state, of course, with an entrepreneurial culture that has valued innovation and has created the policies that are necessary to allow them to blossom and i tell you, it is happening. in fact, i was just walking down the hallway ten minutes ago and one of our economic development
7:07pm
team members said that he was talking to this cutting edge transmission technology company that can do really high capacity transmission to reduce the cost of transmitting clean energy. when we're done with this interview, i'm going to try to get him to open up a spot here in the state. that will be great to be governor of the state of washington. >> jennifer: it brings me back home. what's -- that's what every smart governor is doing to get those products manufactured in your state and put people to work. it is a huge opportunity. now obviously some of that state level policy is going to require a partnership with the state. some states have put aside funds to be able to provide low-interest loans or to be able to provide grants. to get those bills -- to get those businesses there. problem for you is that your state actually passed one of those revenue limitations bills called tabor saying any new
7:08pm
taxes, for example require 2/3 vote of the legislature or a vote of the people to pass. do you think that's going to limit you in getting your clean energy agenda passed? >> not really. i'll tell you why. the bulk of the things we have proposed really do not involve specific appropriations. let me give you an example of the kind of things that we want to accomplish. we want to move existing research -- we have tremendous advanced physics labs at the university of washington biofuels and aerospace labs at washington state university. we want to accelerate the rate and take some of the r&d and commercialize that technology. we have some artificial restrictions in my state on their ability to take that r&d and move it into commercial activity. we want to strip away those regulations right now that slow that down. that frankly doesn't take additional taxpayer dollars. it is simply things that make sense. we want to allow a financing
7:09pm
mechanism for small businesses to be able to finance energy efficiency and eventually renewable energy, setting up financing systems through our existing utilities and eventually through our taxation system through our county and local governments. these are kind of things that really accelerate the pace of development that don't involve necessary taxpayer dollars. now, there are some things we have proposed that are very focused on commercial activity. we have proposed a targeted r&d tax credit for companies that have very high r&d expenditures that are prerenew companies a credit against b.o. tax. there are some implications of that but they're not huge. we're not going to allow our fiscal challenges to slow down the growth of this opportunity curve. it's huge and it's happening all over my state. we've got the world's most
7:10pm
durable solar panel made anywhere on the planet today is made in marysville, washington. little company called silicon energy. largest manufacturer of silicon substrates for solar panels is in moses lake, washington. we're just -- these companies that have great growth potential. we won't let the fiscal challenge slow us down. >> jennifer: it is interesting because you had a couple of things happening at the same time speaking of the fiscal challenges like the passage of that tabor bill. when there were two other progressive ballot initiatives passed. you had legalizing gay marriage and marijuana which both also passed. do you see that the marijuana passage might be an opportunity under the regulatory scheme to raise revenue for some of your other priorities? >> it is. there are some very significant projections under the initiative that did pass.
7:11pm
now, we're going to have to have some serious discussions with the administration about this. i'm hopeful we will succeed in convincing the administration to respect federalism here and allow a local decision with local impacts to move forward. i think this would be a perfect moment for the federal government to honor our decision and colorado's voter's decision to allow us to move forward with a new policy in this regard. and it will have very significant revenue implications. there are estimates from the tens of millions to the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue that can be generated and then used in our schools. we've got a very severe school funding shortage in my state that's really demanding of new revenues -- new availability of resources one way or another. so we hope we succeed that the administration will be convinced to respect the will of washington and colorado voters if that happens it will help us
7:12pm
in revenue and wouldn't be such a bad thing if some of that ends up in research in new advanced lithium ion batteries that you have helped in a tremendous leader on in your success of michigan and it is interesting we've got folks here that have led some of the smart grid technologies that can be married with lithium ion. we've got a new battery storage company in spokane, washington called demand energy management that has a copper battery that has some great future as well. so taking some of the money from recreational use of marijuana and using some of that for new technologies to reduce climate change would be a sweet thing. >> >> jennifer: just so that everybody understands, the marijuana initiative in your state was not a medical marijuana issue. it was legalizing recreational use of marijuana and regulating it like states do with alcohol and states that regulate alcohol get some revenue from that. so huge opportunity certainly for washington state.
7:13pm
just quickly, have you had an opportunity to talk to the president or anybody in washington about whether in fact, they'll be enforcing the federal law in washington? >> i have not. governor has had some preliminary discussions with the justice department. they have not -- as far as we know, made any particular decisions. i think that's a good sign. we want the federal government to take some time and think about this and i hope that they will conclude that because this is something with such local impacts that they'll allow the local state to make their own decisions. i do think that's consistent with what we have done for a long time in this country and a federal system to allow the states to be incubators of democracy, to try new policies out. and see what happens. and you know, this is going to be a first time experiment in colorado and washington. rest of the country can learn from that. without any huge national
7:14pm
ramifications. so we're going to be talking to everybody we can in d.c. about this. >> jennifer: it is going to be very interesting. governor-elect, jay inslee of washington state. creative potentially revenue solutions and certainly a big plate full of clean energy jobs. really appreciate you coming inside "the war room." >> thanks for your leadership and let's crow about this. we had a victory for clean energy at the ballot box last week in the state of washington. let's make that a national success ultimately. >> jennifer: all righty. sounds great to me. thanks jay. >> thank you. >> jennifer: coming up, here's to high ideas. washington state may be the first to legalize marijuana but i doubt it is the last. we'll talk about that after the break. plus, there are many challenges facing our returning veterans. but one is tick -- particularly disturbing. later, what does the fiscal cliff have to do with childhood hunger?
7:15pm
we'll explain as we continue with our week-long series, feeding the need. it's "the war room on a thursday night. to our brains and our bodies. that's why "current" has partnered with "1,000 days" to help spread the word & combat a problem that ultimately effects all of us. to see how you can help go to current dot com. brought to you by the all new dodge dart. dodge - new rules.
7:16pm
[ forsythe ] we don't just come up here for the view up in alaska. it's the cleanest, clearest water. we find the best sweetest crab for red lobster that we can find. [ male announcer ] hurry in to red lobster's crabfest! the only time of year you can savor 5 succulent crab entrees all under 20 dollars. like a half-pound of tender snow crab paired with savory grilled shrimp, just 12.99. or our hearty crab and roasted garlic seafood bake. [ forsythe ] if i wouldn't put it on my table at home, i wouldn't bring it in.
7:17pm
my name's jon forsythe and i sea food differently. >>i jump out of my skin at people when i'm upset. do you share the sense of outrage that they're doing this, this corruption based on corruption based on corruption. >>i think that's an understatement, eliot. u>> i'm not prone tot. understatement, so explain to me why that is. i think the mob learned from
7:18pm
wall st., not vice versa. >> these high school boys and girls are having a hop at the local soda fountain. innocently they dance innocent of a new and deadly menace lurking behind closed doors. marijuana. the burning weed. >> jennifer: that's a clip from the 1936 movie reifer matness. people thought marijuana was a menace to society and today it is actually legal in 16 states and the district of columbia for medicinal use. and voters in washington state and colorado just approved measures to legalize it for recreational use. but here's the run. possession of marijuana remains
7:19pm
a federal crime under 21 u.s. code section 844 putting those states and their citizens at odds with the federal government and federal law enforcement. mother jones reporter josh harkinson has been all over the story, joining me now. welcome back inside "the war room." >> glad to be here, jennifer. >> jennifer: glad to you have back to talk about an issue that's evolving obviously. the people may be ahead of the laws on this. smoking pot and -- the view of it was once considered a scourge. what's happened? >> i think started in 1996 when california voters passed prop 215 which was this really loosely-worded ballot measure that made medical marijuana legal and the following year, about 400,000 californians got these medical pot cards which really you could get for anything like hangnail or writer's cramp. i got one for writer's cramp myself. >> jennifer: wow.
7:20pm
>> so it basically was essentially legal. >> jennifer: did you do that as an experiment as a reporter or did you do it because you did have writer's cramp? >> i did it as an experiment to demonstrate how easy it was. the idea here is that really it is essentially legal in many of the states so it is not too much of an additional step to say hey, let's legalize it. >> jennifer: now you've got full legalization in colorado and washington. in colorado, more people voted to legalize pot than voted for the president in washington, it was about the same. so are you going to see now the federal government clamping down on dispensaries because it is a federal crime still in washington and colorado like they did here in oakland? >> i think it is an open question. the situation -- the politics of this have evolved since then. i think when prop 19 in california failed, the federal government felt emboldened to crack down on the industry here.
7:21pm
but now that voters in two states have voted to fully legalize recreational pot the politics of political calculation changes a little bit. it is still an open question but i think that they have reason to be cautious this time. >> jennifer: what has the president said about it? does he support it? >> the president has been mum on the subject and you can really only divine what he think through the actions of say the department of justice. >> jennifer: or the biographers that have been written about him. >> right. and that's the funny thing about this issue because while as you mentioned, more voters approved of legalizing pot than voted for obama in colorado, it is still sort of an underthe table under the rug issue so people don't want to step up to it. >> jennifer: since we don't know where he's going to go with it, we can only look at the economic impact where there has been medicinal legalization. has there been an economic
7:22pm
impact? has there been plus or minus as a result of states who have legalized it for medicinal use? >> it has been a gigantic impact. marijuana in california is a billion dollar a year industry. and states get tax revenue from this. the city of oakland had banked its entire economic future on it. >> jennifer: what would they get? do you know the numbers? >> it would be many tens of millions a year. if their plans had been allow to the continue but the federal government cracked down on their efforts. >> jennifer: i know that in -- we just spoke with governor-elect jay inslee of washington state who did not support the ballot proposal there but, of course, now that the citizens have spoken, he will accept their judgment. and the studies there show that washington might take in as much as $530 million per year which he could apply to priorities. do you see that same rationale being espoused in colorado, in other states that might do this
7:23pm
who might see it as an economic boon for states in tough financial situations? >> i think it is an economic win. one is the sheer amount of tax dollars you get but also the law enforcement costs of regulating marijuana, arresting people for possessing it astronomical. there was a study in washington state that found there are about 240,000 people had been thrown in jail or cited for misdemeanors, for possession. last 25 years. that cost the state about $300 million. >> jennifer: wow. so do you see in the states that have at least likely -- like we have seen here in california, loosened up for medicinal purposes. do you see what are known as gonja entrepreneurs cropping up, huge, small business opportunity? >> i read about a couple of them based in oakland. they wanted to open essentially walmart of weed like the world's
7:24pm
first integrated marijuana company. they crashed and burned but they were interesting. one was a morgan stanley investment banker. gives you an idea of the kind of crowd this is attracting these days. >> jennifer: it is very, very interesting development. certainly, you know, could be considered an opportunity for cash-strapped states. certainly an opportunity. last question, do you think that california will try this again? >> i'm sure they will. they kind of broke the ice with prop 19. i think that you know, two four years from now -- >> jennifer: i assume you'll see that wave go across the country as millennials et cetera, gain power. >> this is what happened with prohibition. the states legalize alcohol first then the federal government followed. >> jennifer: josh harkinson of mother jones thanks for being inside "the war room." >> up next, sometimes the toughest face you have to look at is the one in mirror. that's exactly what republicans
7:25pm
need to do if they want to be relevant again. lives to for this country nearly 70 years ago.
7:26pm
hershey's drops. a lot of hershey's happiness in little drops of milk chocolate. and cookies n creme.
7:27pm
pure hershey's. >> jennifer: you've probably heard that the republican party is looking for a new identity. they're looking literally everywhere. at the republican governors association conference in las vegas, haley barbour was the most direct. >> we've got to give our political organizational activity, you know, a very serious proctology exam.
7:28pm
>> jennifer: lovely. other republicans in las vegas echoed barbour's language. virginia governor bob mcdonnell noted the g.o.p. needs to figure out what we did right and what we did wrong. how we can improve our tone, hour message our technology, our turnout all the things that are required to win elections. now, far be it for me to give the republicans advice but i would humbly suggest that rather than giving their organization an uncomfortable exam to change just the tactics perhaps they ought to consider changing their ideas and i would start with their position on freedom. republican party has a major credibility gap on that issue. why? because the republicans are for
7:29pm
free enterprise but not free individuals. here's what i mean. ask you any republican about the party's core values and they're going to list a bunch of variations on the word "freedom." free enterprise, free markets free trade economic freedom freedom from taxation and regulation liberty unchaining the private sector, don't tread on me flags basically get the government out of the way so that private action can flourish. right? but their freedom only applies to business. not individuals. so businesses ought to be free from barriers to freely pursue commerce but citizens have to scale barriers to freely exercise their right to cast a vote? people hear a disconnect in your rhetoric. businesses should be trusted to act without regulation, you say.
7:30pm
but women cannot be trusted to make even their own healthcare decisions? businesses ought to freely cross-country borders to enjoy the global free market but the tired, the poor, the hungry who yearn to be free, they're not free to cross our borders. businesses should be free to make contractual arrangements, of course. but individuals are not free to enter into a marriage contract with whomever they love. the reason why the g.o.p. is going to continue to lose elections is because they don't seem to understand how individuals hear the word "freedom." you cannot bow to the altar of freedom at the same time as you eagerly regulate the most intimate and sacred of individuals' personal fears. it is pretty straightforward. and you know what? here's how the demographic groups that you're worried about
7:31pm
losing, here's how they hear that two-sided message. we trust business to be free but we don't trust you. economic freedom without personal freedom is no freedom at all. so republicans as you do your extension soul searching consider this. maybe your loss was not because of the way that you sold your ideas. maybe your loss is because of the hypocrisy of the ideas themselves. up next, of all of the films and documentaries about soldiers and veterans, the one we're going to tell you about after the break is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. i know it did for me. >> i felt like this wasn't the life i wanted to come back to. this wasn't the life that i left. so why is this the life i came back to.
7:32pm
but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and
7:33pm
he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections tuberculosis lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores have had hepatitis b have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biologic medicine prescribed by rheumatologists.
7:34pm
7:35pm
>> i wasn't able to adjust to civilian life. it was just too hard for me. i would wear my uniform like a blanket, like security, not knowing where the next meal was going to come from. it makes it very emotional. it is sad. that's a sad life. >> jennifer: that's kori, one of the women featured in the new documentary "her war" which chronicles the problem of homelessness among female veterans. did you know that they're the fastest growing homeless population. in fact, last year, their ranks more than doubled. the film's director, mimi chakirova spent nearly a month on los angeles's skid row reporting on this crisis for the center for investigative reportings's eye files. tonight we're so pleased to be able to welcome mimi inside the
7:36pm
war room. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> jennifer: you've gone into it. you've been embedded there. why are so many of the women homeless? >> you know, one of the reasons is that when women come back from serving their country many of them have a very difficult time readjusting to civilian life because of what happened to them while they were in the military. there are two other factors. why women join in the first place. many of these women join at a very young age. we're talking about 18, 19. >> jennifer: maybe they had no other options. >> they had no other options. they joined to serve their country but it is a ticket out of their neighborhoods and poverty. when they return, they don't have resources. very easy to exhaust those resources and then unravel and end up on the street. and the third factor, which is important to mention is that many women don't even consider
7:37pm
themselves veterans. there is this notion -- >> jennifer:? really? >> there is this notion that veterans are older males and women don't even think they qualify. even though they are veterans, especially the younger women. they don't think they qualify for v.a. services. >> jennifer: when you were there and filming, how did you get them to open up to you? >> i spent a month in los angeles but initially you know, first of all, i was there alone so that helped. i had this notion that i would go down to l.a. and i would find a group of women who are all vets on the street in the same area and this that was very much not the case. it is an invisible population. women stay hidden because they're preyed upon. i found an organization called new direction which has two residential programs for women veterans facing homelessness and addiction and it is the woman who runs this program who is the central character in the film
7:38pm
who introduced me to some of them. >> jennifer: i want to play a clip about renee. she is, herself, a former homeless vet who works with these women. let's play that clip. >> how you doing? >> how you doing? >> i'm good. >> what she had to do to feed her habit and survive on the street. >> nice to see you. >> actually that was one of my -- >> jennifer: so how did renee get off the streets? >> ironically, renee got off the streets through a client who -- she was prostituting to feed her habit. in skid row for more than a decade and one of her clients said didn't you serve in the air force? she said yeah, i did. he said you know, you should look into the v.a., they might be able to help you with a rehab program so she enrolled in a
7:39pm
rehab program and she's been clean for nine years. >> jennifer: huh. well, i would imagine that a lot of these veterans suffer from another trauma which female veterans of all stripes seem to suffer from. the pentagon says that one in three female vets has experienced military sexual trauma. what is that? did you meet women who had experienced that? >> yes. military sexual trauma is actually a term which the v.a. came up with. the pentagon calls it sexual assault. military sexual assault. now, the v.a. acknowledges one in five women veterans has experienced msd military sexual trauma. the pentagon puts the number at one in three but those who are actually service providers on the ground and interact with women veterans on a daily basis quote a much higher number. 75%. just to give you an idea, when i was meeting women and
7:40pm
interviewing women eight out of ten women who i interviewed had been raped in the military. the majority of them were raped by their supervisors. >> jennifer: what is the v.a. doing about that? what is the v.a. doing about the culture that would allow that to happen? >> the v.a. is -- doing a lot of outreach within the community. with, you know, homeless shelters, with residential programs. but that's not enough. there is also a campaign to end veteran homelessness by 2015 which is very ambitious noble campaign but housing is not the only issue. if you have suffered with this type of trauma and you come back and just to give you an idea, women who have experienced msd are four times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder so they came back. even if you provide a house for them, how could they possibly keep a job when their mental health is not in the place --
7:41pm
>> jennifer: your purpose in uncovering this and choosing this as a topic you -- as in all investigative reporters you wanted to have some kind of impact. what do you hope this does? >> first of all, i hope that people are watching something and are aware of something which very few are acknowledging that it exists. very few people know that this exists. >> jennifer: if they want to see this documentary, where should they go? >> they should go to the i files run through the center for investigation. >> jennifer: it is also on our web site, the link is to our web site as well. but as a documentarist, the purpose is to have some kind of impact. >> the purpose has changed. the purpose is to make sure this doesn't happen to more women. the purpose is to learn and to react and change. change perception. most importantly. change perception. >> jennifer: that's what it's all about.
7:42pm
mimi chakirova, thank you so much for joining us inside our war room. director of "her war." up next, the latest from our series "feeding the need" how going over the fiscal cliff could mean children going hungry. that story is next and it is one you'll only find in "the war room."
7:43pm
7:44pm
the chill of peppermint. the rich dark chocolate. york peppermint pattie get the sensation.
7:45pm
♪ ♪ and so is head & shoulders deep clean. [ male announcer ] with 7 benefits it goes deep to remove grease, gunk and flakes. deep. like me. [ male announcer ] head & shoulders deep clean for men. ♪ ♪ jennifer speaks truth to power. >>the bottom line is we need an amendment. >>now it's your turn. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. >>it's a call to arms. make your voice heard. >> jennifer: in tonight's edition of our series look at hunger in america currently feeding the need. we look at the problem of mothers and children going hungry. if the domestic spending cuts go
7:46pm
through, $543 million is scheduled to be slashed from the budget of wic, the women infant and children's nutrition program. wic provides checks and vouchers to about nine million new and expect act mothers -- expectant mothers for nutritious food. joining me now is mariana chilton, the founder of witnesses to hunger. and she's the director of the center for hunger-free communities. dr. chilton joins us from philadelphia where she's an associate professor at drexel university's school of public health. thanks for coming inside "the war room." >> thank you so much for having me. i'm happy to be here. >> jennifer: you bet. let's just take the big picture first. how would the wic program change if the $543 million are realized. what would it mean for people on the ground? >> well, i think it is most
7:47pm
important that wic is not protected if we have to do across-the-board cuts. it is not an entitlement program. there are four major facts that we have to remember when we're thinking about the fiscal cliff and how it affects wic. first one is that one in four very young children under the age of 6 is suffering from food insecurity. that means over nine million infants and toddlers and preschoolers are at risk for developmental delay. this makes it a major public health problem which is the second most important fact. we have a major public health crisis happening right now in our country because food insecure children suffer more illnesses. they're more likely to be hospitalized and it affects their social and emotional and cognitive development as well. thirdly, i think it is most important we remember that wic is a really important public health program. wic prevents hunger. it reduces hunger. it promoting child development and prevents hospitalizations. and fourth, it is so important that we think about 50% of
7:48pm
american newborn kids are participating in the wic program. that tells you it has great reach but it also tells you of the magnitude of child poverty in our country. when we have 50% of our newborn children participating in wic if there are any cuts to the program that means not only will we have major fiscal cliff we have a major humanitarian crisis on our hands. >> jennifer: so now wic and snap is the other food assistance program otherwise often known as food stamps, the supplemental nutrition assistance program. what's the difference between the two? >> snap is an entitlement program and it helps anyone who is eligible to be able to participate. wic is the most important program for pregnant and lactating women and very young children under the age of 5. what makes wic stand out is pediatricians are working together to focus on nutrition and it is a marriage of the public health community and food assistance community. >> jennifer: so it is more than food. it is more of a holistic
7:49pm
approach. you have started something called witnesses to hunger. witnesses to hunger project. what is the purpose of that and describe it for me. >> witnesses to hunger allows very low-income women to be able to speak out on their own terms. so what we're trying to do is make sure that low-income women who are the true experts on hunger and poverty to be able to speak in the national dialogue on hunger and poverty and try to break down the stereotypes so many people have about people who are poor. what they do is they speak through their cameras. they take photographs of their children and of the world around them to be able to describe what they want people to see. what's going on in their lives and what their ideas for change are. it makes it very exciting. it is a way for them to be able to speak up. >> jennifer: we're looking at pictures right now of what you have done, to bring women to washington, d.c. to testify actual women so that these members of congress actually see people who are impacted by potentially these kind of cuts. i want to show a few of the
7:50pm
photos from your witnesses to hunger project. one of them here, this is one from crystal who writes with the money food stamps provided, i was able to feed her breakfast that morning. without it, what would she have eaten? she had cereal, she had milk. she didn't have to go without. in another melissa writes the kids know my food stamps got cut off because when they came home from school today they didn't have their snacks. i really didn't tell them why or anything like that because i don't think they would understand but it affected them. so how can we, as a society make sure that those faces don't get ignored in these abstract, political battles with lots of acronyms? >> thank you so much for asking. the first thing we need to do is to break down our stereotypes about people who are participating in the snap program and the wic program. what the women are wanting to do is they may be raising the next
7:51pm
president, the next governor. or a doctor or a lawyer and that they are not what people think of as somehow lazy and sitting at home. these women are working hard. they're investing in their children and they're working hard to break the cycle of poverty. >> jennifer: really quickly, looking through the pictures, we were surprised to see many weren't -- were pictures of conditions. barbie submitted this photo of her neighbor's neglected kitchen. you never know what goes on behind closed doors. some people need to know how we're living -- being single moms. how do we make sure, quickly that the solution to hunger isn't just food banks and food stamps that it has to be tackled holistically? >> thanks so much for asking. the food is not just about food the way you solve hunger. you have to pay attention to safe and affordable housing and being able to afford utilities. hunger doesn't happen in a vacuum. there are more treatments to hunger than just food. you have to pay attention to housing, energy, child care subsidies and a whole number of
7:52pm
programs. >> jennifer: dr. chilton, i know you've done an awful lot. people who want to know more, you can see her witnesses to hunger exhibit project online at witnesses to hunger.org. thanks so much for joining us inside "the war room." for more stories from our feeding the need series, please go to current.com/currently. tomorrow night, we travel to the yosemite valley for an inspiring look at a food bank who serves seniors. up next, brett ehrlich has a message for all of those people talking about seceding from the union. and that message is that brett ehrlich is here to help. that's next right here on "the war room."
7:53pm
7:54pm
7:55pm
>> jennifer: our visit to crazytown tonight takes us as it so often does to florida. john metz, owner of 40 denny's restaurants says that he's going to add a 5% obamacare surcharge to his customer's bills and this, of course, comes on the heels of pizza owner papa john's similar obamacare protest adding money cost to his pizzas. i'm actually kind of curious to see how this is going to play out. when diners are presented with an oversized bill, they're going to complain for sure. they're just not usually going to complain about the president of the united states. just sayin'. the signatures have been counted and it appears there is scant support for states to leave our union and go their separate ways. but don't worry. our brett ehrlich is still making plans on how to help those states out so shh brett's talking now.
7:56pm
>> well, america, it was fun while it lasted. but after president obama's victory last week, all 50 states have formally petitioned to secede from the union. [ ♪ dramatic ♪ ] i'm not going to try to stop you but the least i can do is help you come up with new flags names and mottos so that you're ready for nationhood. first up, georgia. everyone's always getting you confused with the country georgia so you've gotta change your name. my suggestion, keger stand. mississippi, write it on everything. i can just see your currency which reads mississippi, we were tired of being last in everything. having recently legalized marijuana, washington's new national anthem will become bob dylan's everybody must get stoned. alabama will also want that anthem and the two nations will go to war only to realize shortly after they were talking about two completely different kinds of getting stoned.
7:57pm
newt gingrich will become south carolina's king and his wife calista gingrich will become their national bird. she flies proudly for she is nonhuman. texas' national bird will just be the bird. chris christie will become new jersey's supreme leader only to immediately change his title to taco supreme leader. entering the state motor lists pass sipes saying you're now entering the no thin zone. no longer having to distinguish itself from north dakota, south dakota can change its name to nowhere. godspeed new nations. i know you'll's be fine except for alaska which will be overrun by bears. i'm done talking now. >> jennifer: all right. well someone's always in our war room. check us out online at current.com/thewarroom. you can link up to our twitter and facebook p
7:58pm
7:59pm

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)